Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS7513086 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 11/378,419
Publication dateApr 7, 2009
Filing dateMar 17, 2006
Priority dateMar 17, 2006
Fee statusPaid
Also published asUS20070234673
Publication number11378419, 378419, US 7513086 B2, US 7513086B2, US-B2-7513086, US7513086 B2, US7513086B2
InventorsMartin Craig Helmus
Original AssigneeMod-Tec, Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fan filter mounting frame
US 7513086 B2
Abstract
The fan filter mounting frame is useful in installation of equipment in a cell of suspension grid systems when the equipment is passed through and is placed in a corner of the cell. The equipment is supported partially directly by the grid and partially indirectly by the grid through an adapting frame insert. The frame insert is connected between the equipment and the suspension grid system and may have two legs that meet at an apex, a first leg extending along a first grid rail and a second leg extending along an adjacent second grid rail. Each of the two legs also extends between its respective rail and the equipment, supporting the equipment on the respective suspension grid rails. Thus, the grid system may be in its design position or condition prior to and during placement and replacement of the equipment without disruption.
Images(14)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(5)
1. A method of supporting an equipment unit with a suspension grid system, wherein the suspension grid system includes a number of rails and cross rails that define the sides of an array of generally rectangular cells having open interiors, the rails and cross rails comprising T-shaped members, the T-shaped members including generally vertical stems and generally horizontal support legs extending outwardly from lower portions of the stems, the support legs forming rail support flanges on the stems for supporting the equipment in the cell, the method comprising the steps of:
cooperatively sizing the equipment unit and at least one cell so that the equipment unit may pass upwardly through the open interior of the cell without displacing or otherwise disrupting the suspension grid system;
passing the equipment unit upwardly through the open interior of the cell to a position above the rail support flanges;
displacing the equipment unit in a diagonal direction toward one corner of the cell, such that a corner of the equipment is positioned above the rail support flanges adjacent said one corner of the cell, with a diagonally opposite corner of the equipment unit being horizontally spaced from the rail support flanges adjacent thereto;
providing frame inserts that fit on the rail support flanges adjacent said opposite corner and extend under the equipment unit so as to provide supporting engagement between the rail support frame flanges and the equipment unit along the sides adjacent to said opposite corner, and providing interlocking flanges for releasibly securing the frame inserts in a generally horizontal, equipment supporting position on the rail support flanges of the rails;
placing the frame inserts on the rail support flanges on the sides of the cell adjacent said opposite corner; and
lowering the equipment downwardly into supporting engagement in the cell, with the equipment resting on and being supported directly by the rail support flanges of the T-shaped members along two adjacent sides of the cell adjacent said one corner of the cell and with the equipment resting on and being supported by frame inserts at sides adjacent the opposite corner of the cell.
2. The method of claim 1 in which the step of providing a frame insert further includes providing a first frame insert leg that extends from the opposite corner and along a respective one of a rail and a cross rail and providing a second frame insert leg that extends from the opposite corner and along a respective one of a cross rail and a rail.
3. The method of claim 1 in which the step of providing a frame insert further includes fabrication of the frame insert with a generally L-shaped body that has a first leg and a second leg and that is adapted to be placed in the opposite corner with the first leg extending along a respective one of a rail and a cross rail, from the opposite corner and with the second leg extending along a respective one of a cross rail and a rail.
4. A method as in claim 1 wherein the inserts meet in said opposite corner in one of a mitered joint and a butt corner joint.
5. A method as in claim 1 wherein the legs of the frame insert extend substantially the entire length of said opposite sides of the cell, such that the cell comprises a continuous frame around the equipment unit.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to placement and support of equipment by ceiling suspension grid systems. More specifically, the invention is directed to supplemental framing that is adapted to mount the equipment on a suspension grid system, which grid is in place in its finished condition and without disrupting the grid system. The invention may further be said to be directed to relatively heavier equipment at least insofar as relatively lighter equipment is readily handled and manipulated in installation and maintenance.

Light duty ceiling grid systems and the like are known and useful for suspending various and relatively light equipment in a room, including ceiling tiles, some lighting fixtures, and some ventilation grills. Suspension frame systems include a series of parallel rail and cross rail components, which install to define a rectangular grid framework. Light duty grid frame systems and light weight equipment are relatively easily handled and manipulated in installation and maintenance. Some familiar light weight equipment may include lighting fixtures, ceiling tiles, ventilation grills, and the like. One who installs the relatively light equipment into a ceiling grid system may place and replace ceiling grid rail and cross rail components relatively easily while also manipulating the subject equipment into an installed position.

Relatively heavy mechanical units, including fans, filters, large lighting fixtures, and the like, are inherently more difficult to place and manipulate merely by their mass and physical size. The handling and placement of these cumbersome units includes an increase of risk for injury to the installer and risk of damage to the equipment. Thus, one may understand that a simplification of the installation of the heavier mechanical units is desirable and needed to reduce injury risk

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, a fan filter mounting frame of the invention simplifies installation of heavier equipment with suspension grid systems by allowing the grid system to be in its design position or condition prior to placement of the equipment. Further, the equipment is placed without disturbing or manipulating the suspension grid system. The equipment is in part supported directly by the grid system and is in part supported indirectly by the grid system through an adapting frame insert. The adapting frame insert is connected between the equipment and the suspension grid system.

In one aspect of the invention, the insert has two legs that meet at an apex, with a first leg extending along a first suspension grid system rail or cross rail and a second leg extending along an adjacent second suspension grid system cross rail or rail. Each of the two legs further extends between its respective rail and the equipment, supporting the equipment on the respective suspension grid rails and cross rails.

These and other features and benefits of the invention will be recognized by one having ordinary skill in the art and by those who practice the invention, from this disclosure, including the specification, the claims, and the drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary cross section view, partially in elevation, of a heavy equipment unit mounted on a suspended grid frame with a first alternative embodiment of a fan filter mounting frame insert of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of Detail II of FIG. 1, showing a first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary top plan view of the suspended T-grid frame of FIG. 1, showing a grid opening and showing in phantom an outline in the grid opening of a housing of the equipment unit;

FIG. 4 is the view of FIG. 3, showing the equipment unit positioned in one corner of the grid cell, supported by two adjacent rails of the grid frame in that corner, and supported by a fan filter mounting frame insert of the invention in an opposing corner of the grid cell, with clamp brackets securing the mounting frame insert;

FIG. 5 is the view of FIG. 4, showing an optional alternative configuration of the mounting frame insert;

FIG. 6 is the view of FIG. 1, showing optional alternative suspended grid frame rails that include adaptation for a lighting provision;

FIG. 7 is the view of FIG. 1, showing a second alternative embodiment of a fan filter mounting frame insert of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary enlarged view of Detail VIII of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is the view of FIG. 7, showing optional alternative suspended grid frame rails that include adaptation for a lighting provision;

FIG. 10 is the view of FIG. 1, showing a third alternative embodiment of a fan filter mounting frame insert of the invention;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary top plan view of the suspended T-grid frame of FIG. 10, showing a grid opening and showing in phantom an outline a housing of a heavy equipment unit, the equipment unit is positioned in one corner of the grid cell, supported by two adjacent rails of the grid frame in that corner, and supported in an opposing corner of the grid cell by a fan filter mounting frame insert of the invention according to the third embodiment;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged view of Detail XII of FIG. 11; and

FIG. 13 is the view of FIG. 10, showing optional alternative suspended grid frame rails that include adaptation for a lighting provision.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Exemplary embodiments of preferred fan filter mounting frames according to the invention are generally shown in the drawing figures and discussed below. More specifically, a first alternative embodiment of the inventive concept is shown in the drawing at FIGS. 1-6. The context of the invention generally includes a suspension frame 100, a piece of mechanical equipment 200 that is to be suspended, and a frame insert 300. The frame insert may be said to adapt one of the suspension frame and the mechanical unit for mounting with the other of the mechanical unit and the suspension frame, respectively.

Various ceiling suspension grid systems 100 and the like are known and useful for suspending mechanical units 200, including fans, filters, lighting, and the like, as is known by one having ordinary skill in the art. Suspension frame systems typically include a series of parallel rails 102 and cross rails 104 (FIG. 3), which install to define the rectangular grid framework 100 that is comprised of an array of included cells.

A casual observer may be most familiar with relatively light duty suspension frame grid systems that are commonly found in offices and homes and the like as suspended ceilings. With regard to light weight equipment components such as acoustical ceiling tiles, some lighting fixtures, and some ventilation grills, the various components may be selectively sequentially placed so the tiles, fixtures, or grills may be modularly sized and rest directly upon suspension grid rails and cross rails. As noted above, the components of each of the suspended ceiling and the equipment are relatively easily handled and manipulated in installation and maintenance. Thus, the light weight components of each of the ceiling system and the equipment may be selectively sequentially manipulated and placed with relative ease.

One having ordinary skill in the art is also familiar with heavier duty suspended grid frame systems that support heavier equipment units 200, including ventilation air moving and conditioning equipment, for example, which may commonly be excessively heavy for convenient manipulation, handling, or placement by an installer or service person. The size or weight of heavier equipment components preclude easy or convenient manipulation of the heavy equipment near an installed position, while suspension frame rail components are selectively removed, positioned, or replaced. Thus, an alternative and safer situation with regard to heavy equipment placement is desired and provided by the invention, in which the suspension frame grid frame system 100 may preferably be undisturbed in its finished design condition; the suspension frame grid and the heavy equipment unit are compatibly sized so the equipment unit slips through a selected cell of the grid, between the rails 102 and cross rails 104 that define the cell; spacers, or inserts, 300 are adapted to insert between the equipment and the grid frame rails and cross rails.

More specifically, the grid rails 102 are commonly spaced and define an uniform or modular opening length 106, while the grid cross rails 104 are spaced and define an uniform or modular opening width 108, for example, of each cell. The cooperating equipment 200 has a housing, a mounting frame, or other outside dimensions that are slightly smaller than the suspension grid opening length and width. Thus, the equipment may slip fit through the suspension grid opening of a pre-selected cell without disturbing the grid frame (FIG. 3).

Once through the grid frame opening, the equipment may be positioned into a selected corner of the grid cell, which is commonly defined by a rail 102 and an adjacent cross rail 104. The equipment unit is set to rest upon rail and cross rail support surfaces 106 of the frame components that define the selected corner (FIGS. 4, 1, & 2).

As is generally shown in the drawing and known in the art, the rails 102 and cross rails 104 of the suspension grid frame 100 commonly define modular uniform cells that are typically rectangular and may include the special geometry of the equilateral rectangle that is known as a square. Thus, the geometry of each cell includes having four corners and having 180 degree rotation symmetry. The square is noted to have 90 degree rotation symmetry as well. Thus, the particular corner of the grid cell that is chosen for supporting the unit 200 as disclosed above is substantially immaterial relative to the invention because the inherent symmetries of the geometry of the rectangular cell. Placement of the unit 200 in a selected corner of the cell leaves a gap between the equipment and the diagonally opposing cell corner, including the adjacent rail and cross rail 102 and 104 that define the opposing cell corner.

The adapting spacers 300, including legs or discrete inserts 302 and 304, of the invention come into play to bridge the gaps between the unit 200 and the adjoining rail and cross rail. The adapting spacers are configured to interconnect between the equipment 200 and the frame rail 102 and cross rail 104, providing support surfaces for two adjacent sides of the equipment that are not supported by the diagonally opposing grid frame rail and cross rail. As shown, the inserts 302 and 304 may be adapted with and abut at mitered ends (FIG. 4). The mitered joint 122 may optionally be fixed with welding or the like as may be appropriate to the structural material selected for fabrication of the inserts. Alternatively, the inserts may remain separate parts that extend along adjacent sides of the grid opening and merely abut at the mitered corner 122.

In an optional alternative, ended inserts 306 and 308 may meet in the corner at a simple butt joint 124 (FIG. 5). One having ordinary skill in the art will notice that the mitering of the inserts 302 and 304 more readily lend them to a strong fixed joint of a one piece insert with legs 302 and 304. On the other hand, the square end inserts 306 and 308 maintain flexibility without regard to which corner of the cell the unit 200 is placed.

The various inserts 302-306 are preferably clamped with their respective rail 102 and cross rail 104. Thus, a clamp 400 that cooperates with the grid rails and cross rails may be provided and fasten the adapting spacers to the grid rails, supporting the equipment (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 5). In an exemplary embodiment, the inserts 302-306 may be configured as a stylized L-section angle with legs 312 and 314 (FIGS. 1 & 2). One having ordinary skill in the art knows that suspension grid frame rails are typically lengths of T-shaped members, having a flange 112 that is commonly exposed and a stem 114 that commonly extends upward from the flange to a terminal end (FIG. 2). As shown, an insert 300 may be positioned against the rail with the leg 312 against the stem 114 and the leg 314 against and extending beyond the flange 112. The clamp 400 may then be provided in one embodiment with a clamp leg 402 against the insert leg 312 and capturing the insert leg between the clamp leg and the rail stem 114. The clamp may further have a flange 404 that abuts a terminal end of the stem. A self taping screw or bolt 406 or the like may be used to secure the clamp in position as one having ordinary skill in the art will understand. In various installation circumstances, the clamp may be alternatively configured, including fabrication as a J-channel and as a U-channel.

For various structural and other design consideration, the insert 300 may preferably include a stiffening or locking rib 316 along leg 312, that may key into a cooperating groove 116 in the rail stem 114 (FIG. 2). The insert leg 314 may preferably be styled to be flush with an exposed surface of the rail flange 112. The leg 314 may also include a stabilizing rib 318, which may strengthen the insert 300 or may position the unit 200. Alternatively, the insert 300 may desirably be fastened with the equipment, rather than the suspension grid frame rail as is discussed further below.

Various of the rails or cross rails may optionally be adapted to cooperate with a lighting fixture or the like (FIG. 6). The rail flange may be modified with a pair of parallel legs 118 that may extend downward from the flange as shown and define the flange portion as a downward opening U-channel. The legs 118 may extend to terminal ends that are adapted to support a cooperating light fixture 120. Further the leg ends may include adaptation to support a cooperating light shade 122.

In a second alternative embodiment of an example of the invention, the suspension frame grid rails and cross rails (either 130) may have a modified T-section that is adapted with a flange 136 to cooperate with a modified spacer 330 (FIGS. 7-9). The T-rail 130 has a flange 132 and a stem 134. The stem is provided with the downward extending flange 136 that defines a groove 138, which extends along a length of the stem 134.

The insert 330 includes a generally horizontal leg 334 that extends along and beyond the T-rail flange 132, from the stem 134, to support the unit 200. An offset outer end 335 of leg 334 positions the support surface of leg 334 at the same plane as flanges 132 of T-rails 130. The insert 330 may be said to be a modification of the insert 300 in that the insert 300 leg 312 is foreshortened to the insert 330 leg 332. The leg 332 interconnects with the flange 136 and seats in the groove 138 in interlocking engagement. The leg 332 may preferably be configured with a grooved terminal end as shown, which grooved terminal enhancing alignment, placement, and stability of the insert 330.

An advantage of the insert 330 having the lip or leg 332 instead of the short leg 312 is that the stem 134 of the suspension frame rail may be relatively shorter. The shorter stem 134 has various architectural and structural advantages, including requiring less overhead space and requiring less material in fabrication.

The modified rail 130 may optionally be adapted to include incorporation of a lighting fixture (FIG. 9), similar to the discussion above regarding the rail 102 or cross rail 104 (FIG. 6). The rail flange 132 may be modified with a pair of parallel legs 138 that may extend downward from the flange as shown and define the flange portion as a downward opening U-channel. The legs 138 may extend to terminal ends that are adapted to support a cooperating light fixture 120. Further the leg ends may include adaptation to support a cooperating light shade 122.

In a third alternative configuration of the invention, adapting spacers or inserts 360 are structurally secured with the equipment 200, rather than with the suspension frame grid rail 160 (FIGS. 10-13). More specifically, a downward extending flange 232 may be provided on the equipment housing and adapted to define a downward opening groove 234 along the unit 200. A corresponding insert 360 may be configured generally as an angle, a U-channel or a J-channel as shown.

The insert 360 has a bight portion 362 with generally parallel legs 364 and 366 extending in the same direction, upward as shown, from opposite edges of the bight portion 302. The leg 364 is captured in the groove 234 in the example. The insert 360 so positioned, extends to overlay the flange 112 of the respective rail 100, with the bight portion 362 and leg 366. As discussed above relative to the spacer 300 of the first alternative embodiment, the spacer 360 may be one piece with two legs that extend along adjacent lengths of rail 102 and cross rail 104, and may also be implemented as two inserts that abut at a common corner of a suspension grid frame cell. The legs of the insert 360 may meet at a mitered corner as shown and may alternatively meet at a simple butt joint as noted above regarding the insert 300.

Various rails or cross rails may optionally be adapted to cooperate with a lighting fixture or the like (FIG. 13). The rail flange may be modified with a pair of parallel legs 118 that may extend downward from the flange as shown in the drawing, and define the flange portion as a downward opening U-channel. The legs 118 may extend to terminal ends that are adapted to support a cooperating light fixture 120. Further, the leg ends may include adaptation to support a cooperating light shade 122, all as discussed above relative to the first alternative embodiment.

One having ordinary skill in the art and those who practice the invention will understand from this disclosure that various modifications and improvements may be made without departing from the spirit of the disclosed inventive concept. One will also understand that various relational terms, including left, right, front, back, top, and bottom, for example, are used in the detailed description of the invention and in the claims only to convey relative positioning of various elements of the claimed invention.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3708927Feb 19, 1971Jan 9, 1973S CohenExtrusions for carrying ceiling tiles and window curtains, shades, and the like
US3807114Nov 8, 1972Apr 30, 1974Armstrong Cork CoCeiling suspension runner
US3863413 *Oct 9, 1973Feb 4, 1975Geute Harvey JSuspended ceiling construction
US3988871 *Feb 3, 1975Nov 2, 1976Henry MoomeySuspended ceiling construction
US4064671 *Jun 9, 1976Dec 27, 1977Roblin Industries, Inc.Stabilizer strut for suspended ceiling system
US4599831Dec 24, 1984Jul 15, 1986Economy Distributors, Inc.Ceiling panel security clip device
US4640064Dec 2, 1985Feb 3, 1987Donn IncorporatedSuspension ceiling system combining snap-up pans and lay-in panels
US4683699 *Dec 10, 1985Aug 4, 1987Flakt AktiebolagSuspended ceiling structure for rectangular filter elements
US4710208Dec 27, 1985Dec 1, 1987Flakt AbSuspendable modular frame arrangement for clean room ceilings having a fluid seal
US4736564Oct 8, 1986Apr 12, 1988Alcan Aluminum CorporationConversion ceiling pan and system
US4769965Nov 27, 1987Sep 13, 1988Armstrong World Industries, Inc.Method and apparatus of positioning a new ceiling over an existing ceiling
US4916877 *Jul 3, 1989Apr 17, 1990National Rolling Mills, Inc.Fire strip construction
US4937994Aug 22, 1988Jul 3, 1990Albrecht RitterCounter ceiling comprising a suspended supporting skeleton
US4946484 *Feb 5, 1988Aug 7, 1990Donaldson Company, Inc.Support for clean room ceiling grid system
US4967530Mar 15, 1989Nov 6, 1990Clunn Gordon EClean room ceiling construction
US4976757 *May 4, 1989Dec 11, 1990Comp-Aire Systems, Inc.Filtration plenum module constructed for on-site assembly
US4986050Aug 22, 1989Jan 22, 1991Filtra CorporationModular support system for a filter-type ceiling grid
US5033247May 11, 1990Jul 23, 1991Clunn Gordon EClean room ceiling construction
US5279632Dec 17, 1992Jan 18, 1994International Business Machines CorporationPlanar clean room ceiling structure
US5316254 *May 14, 1992May 31, 1994Mccartha Robert DJunction box support for suspended ceilings
US5603193 *Oct 11, 1995Feb 18, 1997Koertge; Richard J.Sealing system for multi-panel ceiling
US5620369 *Jun 6, 1995Apr 15, 1997Daw Technologies, Inc.Method and device for unidirectional airflow in cleanroom
US5687527 *May 30, 1996Nov 18, 1997Clestra Cleanroom (S.A.)Suspended ceiling for cleanrooms
US5794397 *Nov 25, 1996Aug 18, 1998Cleanpak International, Inc.Clean room ceiling structure light fixture wireway
US5809730Jan 8, 1997Sep 22, 1998Meissner + Wurst Gmbh + Co. Lufttechnische Anlagen Gebaude- Und VerfahrenstechnikMounting system, especially grid-type ceiling system, for clean rooms
US5865674 *Dec 18, 1996Feb 2, 1999Envirco CorporationFlush lighting system for cleanroom
US6200215 *Jun 24, 1998Mar 13, 2001ABB Flškt ABFan module for clean room applications
EP0530976A1 *Aug 3, 1992Mar 10, 1993BROD & McCLUNG - PACE CO.Light and filter support structure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8713869 *Mar 15, 2013May 6, 2014Gordon Sales, Inc.Suspended containment wall system
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/745.05, 454/187, 52/506.07, 52/39, 52/506.09, 52/506.06, 52/506.08, 52/506.1
International ClassificationG09F7/18, E04B5/00, E04B2/00, E04B1/00, E04G21/00, B01L1/04, E04B9/00, E04G23/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04B9/064, F24F13/28, E04B9/241, E04B9/02, E04B9/006
European ClassificationE04B9/00D, E04B9/24B, F24F13/28, E04B9/02, E04B9/06E
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 14, 2011ASAssignment
Owner name: MOD-TEC, LLC, MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HELMUS, MARTIN CRAIG;REEL/FRAME:027383/0502
Effective date: 20111213
Sep 28, 2012FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Apr 20, 2016FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8